Pre-Tray Walker-tragedy, the Baltimore Ravens were celebrating the signing of decorated Safety Eric Weddle. He was saying all of the right things about excitement to join a winning organization, positive public interactions with teammates, and dedication to winning. It was one tweet in particular that caught my attention:
Devastating news about my teammate Tray Walker. RIP Tray. Wish I could of shared the field with u this year. We will make u proud!!!!!!— Eric Weddle (@weddlesbeard) March 18, 2016
To call him a teammate before even meeting him is exceptional.
To dedicate to his memory--"We will make U proud"--is outstanding.
Imagine how the Walker family would feel on seeing this tweet.
So, an idea of how Weddle--and the Ravens in general--could show that remembrance this season.
Eric Weddle could don number 25 for the 2016 season, only.
Numbers are important to players. Weddle has had the good fortune of having number 32 for all of his pro and college career. This number is also available for the Ravens roster, so everyone has penned him in to wear it.
What if he, in tribute to his fallen teammate-to-be, wore the number 25 for this season only? What if he announced this, as a tribute to a promising player, carrying out the excellence that could have been, in a sense. And furthering it because of who he is. It is a tall order to ask, but Weddle wore number 22 in high school. It's not too much of a stretch.
Where it began... Eric Weddle Alta Loma Brave... So proud of him pic.twitter.com/l14f5JIlmp— Donald H. Martin, II (@coachmartin2) April 6, 2015
Also, Weddle once gave up his number 22 in a game from high school because his teammate wanted to wear it in order to honor his father. So he is familiar with this type of thing. For that game, he wore number 21.
Weddle could reserve the right to revert to his number 32 jersey for the Super Bowl, should the Ravens make it. I believe the NFL would pre-approve a circumstance like this because of the special nature of it. Another idea is to just wear it for the first home game, or even the game where the Ravens memorialize Walker.
The Ravens already have a patch on their website with the number 25 on it, and clearly they will enact a tribute like that this season. The jersey idea would be very special to the Walker family members in Miami.
What a great way, it seems, for Weddle to enter Baltimore and embrace Ravens Nation.
What a great remembrance it could be.